With the purpose of preventing women from gaining freedom, a new Saudi Arabian app was released which allowed men to stop women from traveling. This app also grants men the ability to track their wives without their knowledge, and it has already proven to be an extremely popular download in the Saudi Arabian market.
Because of the widespread backlash to this app, Apple has announced that they will begin investigating to identify whether it will remain on the App Store. In fact, Tim Cook was recently interviewed by NPR, and he admitted not knowing about the app but still expressed his concern.
The app also offers access to necessary government services, making it an essential application for many Saudi Arabian women. Due to this, a number of human rights groups have called on Tim Cook to remove this app and prevent more women from being subjugated to the wills of their significant others.
For example, this app would register both wives, sisters, and daughters to an international registry which could prevent them from gaining access to international travel. Plus, the app would even notify the man if the woman attempted to flee from the country, and it would provide men with an accurate, up-to-date location of where the woman was located.
Human Rights Watch describes the gross overreaches of this app, saying, “Apps like this one can facilitate human rights abuses, including discrimination against women.”
This app is indicative of a Saudi Arabian culture in which women are objectified and forced to bend to the wills of their husbands. The app was originally designed to suit the purposes of the Ministry of Interior, and it has been in use for several years. However, it did not reach widespread acclaim until recently. To date, experts assume that it has been downloaded more than one million times.
Apple is still considering whether they will allow the app to remain on the store, but many industry leaders believe that its days are numbered. Regardless, it will still be accessible in some ways, and without a significant change to the culture, women will still remain enslaved to their husbands’ wills.